Vusumuzi Dube, Senior Reporter

ZIMBABWE will soon start producing vehicle number plates locally with Cabinet on Tuesday approving a budget of US$1 million for the establishment of a plant for their manufacture in the country.

Speaking at a post-Cabinet briefing, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Mrs Monica Mutsvangwa revealed that once the plant was established it would result in reduction of the selling price of the number plates.

She said the plant will use local raw materials in the production of the number plates which would reduce the government’s bill on importing number plates by 56 percent.

“The Ministers of Transport and Infrastructural Development; and Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development presented a proposal for the localisation of the production of vehicle number plates and the development of an Integrated National Vehicle Management as previously directed by Cabinet.

“Cabinet approved the proposal and attendant budget of US$1 million which will result in the establishment of a plant for the local manufacture of number plates. The selling price of one registration plate will be significantly reduced from the current US$ 80,35 to US$ 45,61. The use of local materials will save the country foreign currency and reduce the import bill by 56 percent, currently the country spends 700 00 Euro annually on importing number plates,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

She revealed that the number plates will be manufactured using aluminium and acrylic materials which are locally available noting that the establishment of the plant in the country will result in job creation for the unemployed.

“The proposed number plates will have enhanced features which supersede the features of the current number plates but still maintain compliance to Sadc regulations.

“The objective of the project is to design and manufacture registration number plates that meet world design standards that use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tagging to optimize the use of road space, reduce non-compliance, enhance toll and parking authentication, combat vehicle crime and fight terrorism,” she said.